Daisy Pearce 'double standard' called out by AFL legend Matthew Richardson

Richmond Tigers great Matthew Richardson says Daisy Pearce has been unfairly 'singled out'.

Daisy Pearce and Matthew Richardson.
Daisy Pearce has been unfairly 'singled out' amid the furore regarding her commentary position, Matthew Richardson says. Pictures: Getty Images

Richmond Tigers legend Matthew Richardson says it a 'double standard' for his former club and the Brisbane Lions to ban Channel 7 commentator Daisy Pearce from their club rooms. Both clubs have asked that AFLW premiership winner Pearce, now an assistant coach for Geelong, stay out of their rooms for fear of a conflict of interest.

Richardson sold 3AW he was confused as to why Pearce had been 'singled out' by the Tigers and Lions, pointing out that several other former AFL players hold club roles in addition to broadcast work. Channel 7, along with many other media outlets, frequently broadcast from club rooms after each match - with Seven often setting up a desk for their commentary panel in the rooms after the game.

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He said he didn't understand why Pearce had become the centre of the controversy, when for years the likes of Jimmy Bartel and Luke Darcy have done so without incident since joining the media. Following both players' retirement from the AFL, Bartel has taken up a role on the GWS Giants' board, while Darcy has also held football roles with the Western Bulldogs.

Pearce's position as a game-day assistant coach has reportedly been a bone of contention for some clubs, however Richmond and Brisbane are the only two to act on it at the time of writing. Richardson said while he could understand where the clubs were coming from, it was a stretch to believe that Perace would somehow be taking notes on the opposition while on air.

"I don’t see why Daisy is being singled out here," he said. “I just don’t see why she’s being banned from rooms.

I mean, there’s always been people with dual roles in this business, whether you think it’s right or not. There’s been plenty of media performers over the years that have also had roles at footy clubs, there’s plenty doing it now as we speak.”

Richardson also pointed out that every post-match broadcast took place in the general changeroom area where friends and family would be mingling, far from closed rooms which might have details written on a whiteboard.

“Let me stress, as the host broadcaster, we are going nowhere near the coaches’ rooms where there is maybe stuff written up on the wall, information that you don’t want to get out," he said.

“We’re in the actual changerooms where the players are icing up, family are mingling around chatting, there’s other broadcasters in there, radio stations, and everyone’s just having a good chat about the game. I just don’t see how anyone working in the media could be in there gathering information for the club you may work for.”

Brisbane Lions respond after banning Daisy Pearce from rooms

Lion coach Chris Fagan said he sympathised with Pearce but that the club would be standing by the decision not to allow her in the rooms. Admitting that it was somewhat 'unfair', Fagan nonetheless believed it would be inappropriate.

“I’m not deliberately targeting Daisy, but it’s no different … if one of my assistant coaches worked in the media and wanted to go into the rooms of another club, and they wouldn’t necessarily feel all that comfortable with that because you do see things and you do hear things,” Fagan said.

“I think you’re conflicted when you work as a coach and you work in the media. I think that’s a terribly difficult thing to manage.

“The preference would be that we shouldn’t have to make the choice – I think that’s unfair on the clubs.

Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan.
Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan says he sympathises with Daisy Pearce, but that having a rival assistant coach in the Lions rooms would be 'inappropriate'. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

“It doesn’t make any sense to me, and … I don’t want to have to worry about it. It’s your inner sanctum, the changeroom of a football club, and who knows what she might see or hear.

“I’d rather not take that chance, and I don’t want our people walking around on eggshells just because they’re worried about what someone may or may not see.I just hope it doesn’t turn into one of those things every year … is Daisy being let in or is Daisy not being let in?”

Fagan said the Pearce situation was different to that of former Lions star Luke Hodge, who also worked at matches for Channel 7. “Hodgey just worked with us in the pre-season,” the Lions mentor said.

“He never actually worked with us in season, so he didn’t know what was going on internally once the pre-season was over, and even in the pre-season, he was a one-day-a-week guy. It’s pretty different to the more substantial role that Daisy’s playing at Geelong.”

with NCA Newswire

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